Seattle Tea: Tea can inspire a lot of debate: Green tea? Black tea? With milk? And are herbal teas really tea at all? One attribute shared by all teas, served hot, is that they’re comforting and soothing, just like the chamomile tea served to sick Peter Rabbit.
They also make interesting gifts. And some kids love a good cup, too, especially if you make it a tea party.
Here are a few great local spots where you can buy a wide variety of leaves for your next cuppa, either in person or online.
Vital T Leaf: Known for organic Chinese loose-leaf teas and accessories, including House Special Pu-erh. 651 S. Jackson St., vtlseattle.com
Market Spice: Its Pike Place Market roots go back to 1911. Its signature blend: Cinnamon Orange Tea. 85A Pike Place, marketspice.com
Seattle Best Tea: Specializes in Taiwanese loose-leaf teas, including many oolongs. 506 S. King St., seattlebesttea.com
Queen Mary Tea Emporium: North of the UW in Ravenna, hailed for classic British-style black teas. 2809 NE 55th St., queenmarytea.com
Steepologie: Its TeasMe Box, a monthly sampler of four teas, helps you choose favorites. Fremont, Issaquah, Alderwood Mall and Southcenter. steepologie.com